AKKA ASP Team has confirmed its second full-season programme for the 2019 Blancpain GT Series, with the #87 Mercedes-AMG set to compete for Pro-Am honours in the Endurance Cup and Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe.
The French squad has named a trio of drivers for the upcoming campaign, with experienced gentlemen racers Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Mauro Ricci joined by rising professional star Jim Pla.
They will contest the five-round Endurance Cup campaign together, beginning with the season-opening event at Monza on 12-14 April. Driving duties will be shared at Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe events, with Pla anchoring the line-up at all five rounds while Beaubelique and Ricci alternate thoroughout the year.
Beaubelique and Ricci are among the most experienced campaigners in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. Indeed, no amateur racer has contested more events than Beaubelique since the series inception in 2011.
Pla steps up to full-time GT3 competition following a successful 2018 campaign in which he and Beaubelique took runner-up spot in FFSA Championnat de France GT – GT4 France. The 26-year-old has consideable experience in a variety of GT categories and was a race-winner in the ultra-competitive F3 Euro Series while still a teenager.
Following the announcement, team boss Jérôme Policand commented: “I am very happy that these three drivers will be able to run together. Thanks to Jean-Luc and Mauro for giving Jim this opportunity in GT3; he was a real revelation for me in 2018. I am convinced that they will be competitive as all three of them are ready for the challenge ahead.”
The #87 becomes the second AKKA ASP Team programme to be announced following last week’s news that Raffaele Marciello, Michael Meadows and Vincent Abril will lead an all-star Pro effort as the French squad looks to build on a hugely successful 2018 campaign. Its trophy haul last term included the overall Blancpain GT Series drivers’ and teams’ titles, the Sprint Cup drivers’ championship, as well as overall and Sprint Cup honours in the Silver category.